Rear-end collisions are extremely common. They can be caused by distracted driving or driving too closely; speeding; failing to notice the car in front reaching a red light or a stop sign, or suddenly stopping to avoid a hazard. We are often asked: is one party always entirely to blame for a rear-end collision?
In Ontario, the presumption is that the rear driver is responsible as they are most likely at fault for causing the accident. Drivers are generally required be vigilant and aware of their surroundings at all times. The driver of the front vehicle can claim that the driver in the back would have been able to avoid the collision had they been driving as safely as they are meant to. Therefore, Ontario courts have placed the burden of proof on the defendant (rear-end driver) to prove that they were not negligent and did not cause the accident.
When three or more vehicles are involved in a rear-end collision although the driver in the back is probably liable, they may not be the only responsible party. If the first two or more vehicles are stopped at the time of impact, then the last vehicle is the only one that has liability in the accident. However, if the first two vehicles are in motion when a third hits them from behind, then the last car is still 100% at fault for hitting the middle vehicle, but the middle vehicle may also be 50% at fault for hitting the front vehicle.
In rare cases, the front driver will be found liable or partially liable for a rear-end collision. This could happen in the following circumstances:
Insurance companies use the Ontario Fault Determination Rules to assign fault for vehicles. It’s important to note that someone will always be at fault, whether it’s partially or fully. You can be found anywhere from 0% to 100% responsible. Under these rules you are not at fault if someone rear-ends you regardless of whether you were stopped, slowing down, or turning left or right. Rear drivers must anticipate these common driving behaviors, especially in bad weather or heavy traffic areas. It’s prudent that they keep a safe distance between the vehicle ahead in order to have enough time to brake or react to sudden hazards, or events.
Whether your motor vehicle collision will increase your insurance rates generally depends on how your insurance company applied the Fault Determination Rules to your situation. Should you get into an accident and are you are not the one at fault in for crash, your insurance premiums will not likely go up. If your insurance company determines that you are more than 25% at fault, it can increase your insurance premium.
If you’ve recently been in a rear-end collision and have been injured as a result, call us to schedule a free consultation. We would be pleased to assist you or a loved one with their rear-end collision case.
Enjoy this article? Don't forget to share.
Vous avez aimé cet article? N'oublie pas de partager.
Snowmobiling is one of the great ways many Canadians keep active and enjoy the long winter. The Ontario Federation of Snowmobile Clubs (OFSC: […]Enjoy this article? Don't forget to share. Vous avez aimé cet article? N'oublie pas de partager.
In a nutshell: The “threshold” applies only to cases of injuries suffered in a motor vehicle accident in Ontario where a defendant is […]Enjoy this article? Don't forget to share. Vous avez aimé cet article? N'oublie pas de partager.
Did you know that driving at dawn and dusk are the most dangerous times to drive? Dawn and dusk have an effect on […]Enjoy this article? Don't forget to share. Vous avez aimé cet article? N'oublie pas de partager.